Post Summary: Kirkham Hot Springs In Idaho, directions, and photo inspiration.
Did you know that Idaho is 67% public land?
That’s 35 million acres of the 53 million-acre state! With over 20 million of those acres consisting of national forest areas, it’s guaranteed to keep you busy exploring for a long, long time.
One thing Berty and I love about the Gem State is the sheer amount of Idaho hot springs available to experience!
We’ve spent our fair share of time finding hidden and commercial ones alike, and we were determined to find new ones on our recent trip out.
Kirkham Hot Springs was high on our list to see, so we make it a pit stop on our epic tour of Idaho hot springs!
In this post, we’re here to share with you what this place is all about. We’re sharing what you can expect on your own trip out to this slice of beautiful Idaho paradise!
“There are no tourist attractions here [in Idaho], but rather out-of-the-way places and uncrowded sanctuaries…where your view and the thoughts of your mind are clear and unobstructed” – Ron Watters
If this is your first time here on the blog, one thing to know about Berty and I is that we LOVE finding new Idaho hot springs!
We have a lot more posts about locations in the Pacific Northwest and we’re excited to share them with you! You can find more like Kirkham Hot Springs at these posts:
- 10+ Pacific Northwest Hot Springs You Must Visit
- 15 Incredible Idaho Hot Springs You Need To Experience
- A Winter Escape in Stanley, Idaho (and three hot springs to explore!)
- Scenic Hot Springs In The Cascade Mountains
- A Gem In The Oregon Desert: Alvord Hot Springs
- The Springs Idaho Mountain Resort
- Burgdorf Hot Springs Near McCall, Idaho
What To Expect At Kirkham Hot Springs
How To Get To Kirkham Hot Springs
Like all good Idaho hot springs, the journey to Kirkham Hot Springs requires a bit of a drive.
Kirkham Hot Springs is located in Lowman, Idaho within the Boise National Forest.
Grab your friends, some good playlists, your swimsuits, and get out on the road! Here are some distance estimates if you’re curious:
- From Boise, Idaho to Kirkham Hot Springs: 1 hour 45 minutes
- From McCall, Idaho to Kirkham Hot Springs: 2 hours 15 minutes
- From Stanley, Idaho To Kirkham Hot Springs: 1 hour
- From Spokane, Washington to Kirkham Hot Springs: 7 hours (this is what we did!)
We definitely saw our fair share of picnickers and people planning to stay for a while.
Make an afternoon out of your visit and plan to bring some food and plenty of water if you want (and a trash bag to pack it out too!!).
THE DETAILS OF KIRKHAM HOT SPRINGS
Kirkham Hot Springs is located in the Boise National Forest. During the regular season (April through November), parking for day use is $5.00.
However, we encountered the lot closed during the winter, so soakers parked off the highway for free (as far as we know at least!). Regular hot springs hours are from 6:00 am to 10:00 pm and are closed at night. Pit toilets and picnic tables are available on site.
You can also choose to camp at the campground right next to the hot springs. To do so, make reservations at this website because summer months fill up fast!
Many forest hot springs are clothing optional, but this one…not so much. Kirkham Hot Springs not only gets more traffic than most in the area, but it also tends to be more of a family-friendly place so it’s best to keep your suit on. Plus, all soakers are completely visible from the highway!
The Hot Springs
Kirkham Hot Springs sits right next to the South Fork of the Payette River. There are 10 separate pools all of varying temperate and size to fit anyone’s preference.
This place is pretty popular but there is a lot of room to spread out if you want a quiet soak. If you visit on a busy day, remember to follow these etiquette tips for hot springs, so that you and others can enjoy and respect one another’s experiences!
The rocks can be very slippery and sharp, so we suggest wearing water shoes like Tevas or Chacos to protect your feet.
Love Natural Hot Springs? Discover Burgdorf Hot Springs, an Epic Idaho Backcountry Escape
This was our first stop on our 7-hour drive to Stanley, Idaho, so we were really excited to get out of the car, explore, and stretch our legs.
We were happy to encounter a lot of other travelers that seemed to be car camping as well. The official parking lot was closed for the winter, so we joined the other vehicles on a large pullout next to the entrance.
We heard this place could get crowded, so we were prepared when we saw lots of cars in the parking lot. However, even though there were maybe 12 others sharing the pools with us, it didn’t feel crowded at all.
There was plenty of space to spread out and be as social (or anti-social) as you pleased.
We said hello to a few other soakers, but spent most of our time either catching up with one another in the pools or taking photos of our surroundings.
The snow made a really beautiful backdrop to the steam and water cascading from the rocks above us.
Berty and I also really enjoyed the area right before we took the stairs down into the hot springs. Hot water flowed down the hillside and created an awesome steam effect with a beautiful snowy mountain backdrop.
We spent a lot of time taking photos here as well!
And here’s the area right above Kirkham hot springs…
WHAT TO DO NEARBY KIRKHAM HOT SPRINGS
Ready to explore more things to do in Idaho?
We’ve listed some of our favorite places below as some suggestions on things to do near Kirkham Hot Springs:
Goldbug Hot Springs
If your journey is taking you towards Stanely or Missoula, Montana, make sure to plan a stopover and see Goldbug Hot Springs! These pools are tucked away in the mountains near the Salmon-Challis National Forest, but totally worth the trek to getting there! Camping is free along the route (just make sure to stay at least 500 feet away from the pools!) so you can enjoy Goldbug at sunrise AND sunset!
Situated on the southern part of the Payette Lake, McCall is a perfect outdoor escape for all seasons.
In the summer you can grab your kayak and float on the lake, and in the winter you can get on your skis and spend the day at the nearby Brundage Mountain.
Read The Post: Awesome Things To Do In McCall, Idaho During Winter
Burgdorf Hot Springs
Burgdorf Hot Springs is the perfect combination of natural hot springs and convenience!
This rustic community of cabins deep in the Idaho backcountry welcomes visitors year-round for a relaxing soak in their geothermal pools.
From scorching hot small pools to a perfectly warmed large pool, this rustic Idaho resort is the perfect winter getaway.
Read More: What To Expect at Burgdorf Hot Springs
The capital of Idaho has a booming culture of good food, good beer, and tons of activities to do!
In the summer you can float the Snake River right through town, drive up the Payette River to go whitewater rafting, or even see a Shakespeare play on a beautiful outdoor stage. You will be pleasantly surprised by Boise!
Read The Post: 23 Epic Things To Do In Boise, Idaho.
This darling little mountain town has a population of only 70 people, but we think they are some of the luckiest 70 people in the world!
Surrounded by the gorgeous Sawtooth mountains, this place boasts round the clock mountain views, traditional cabin getaways, and lots of activities on Redfish Lake.
We recently went there in the winter and found a few hot springs to explore!
Read The Post: A Winter Escape In Stanley, Idaho
The Inland Northwest
Berty and I consider the Inland Northwest to roughly include Eastern Washington and Oregon, Idaho, Western Montana, and the northern parts of Wyoming and Utah. (But that’s just us!)
There are so many gorgeous canyons, rivers, and mountains to see in the area! If you’re looking for spectacular views without the crowds, this is the place you should be.
Read The Post: 11 Things To Do In The Inland Northwest
Snake River Valley Wineries
There is an area of Idaho that has a similar climate to other successful wine-growing regions in Europe.
This area is fairly new to the wine scene compared to Oregon and Washington wineries, but it’s quickly rising in popularity!
Read The Post: An Enchanting Day Around Idaho Wineries.
The Springs Idaho Resort
The Springs Idaho Resort is a luxurious retreat just an hour’s drive north of Boise Idaho.
It’s the perfect pit stop on the way back from adventures in the Boise National Forest, to soak your sore muscles before you head back to the city.
This place has a huge soaking pool, a steam room, and a row of incredible private pools to reserve. You won’t want a miss a trip to The Springs!
Backcountry Camping In The Boise National Forest
Right after visiting Kirkham Hot Springs, strap on your snowshoes and hideaway in a backcountry yurt!
There are 6 reservable yurts in the Boise National Forest, each with their own unique history, stories, and adventures nearby.
Make sure to read our guide to making the most of your Idaho yurt camping trip, and have fun!
Have you been to Idaho’s Kirkham Hot Springs? Tell us about your own experience here in the comments!
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